Drowning In Love

Don't say you're sorry; you know you're not.
You know you've got the power to make me weak inside.

I don't need another lifeline; it's not for me.
'Cause only you can save me. Oh, can't you see.
I can't imagine life without your love.
And even forever don't seem like long enough.

'Cause every time I breathe I take you in,
and my heart beats again.
Baby, I can't help it;
you keep me drowning in your love.

Every time I try to rise above
I'm swept away by love.
Baby, I can't help it;
you keep me drowning in your love.

Drowning in your love…

Backstreet Boys – Drowning

Control. Wufei's whole life had been about control. Not control over his own life; oh, no. The control others had over him. The clan, the elders, his parents…

Never had he had control over his life. At least, not while he was growing up. And his life had been such that he had never even thought of another way of life, let alone contemplated it. He'd been drowning in his responsibilities…his spirit slowly suffocating as he drowned under the weight of his duties to the Dragon Clan.

If he'd ever thought he could exert control over his own life he never would have ended up married to Meiran. He hadn't even thought of protesting the match, though he fiercely wanted to; both of them had.

It had been terrible, their marriage. Not because they didn't like each other – though their relationship was more of a love/hate one than mutual respect; at least in the beginning – but because they only considered each other as siblings. Admittedly, siblings who fought all the time – she irritated him more than anyone he had ever met, always pushing him to be more of a man and fight for their colony; he annoyed her just as much, with his scholarly ways and reproaches that she should be more feminine and leave men's work to the men – and still…

It wasn't until Meiran died that he realized how much she had influenced him. Her dying made him come to terms with the fact that he had to take control over his life, as she had, by becoming Nataku and fighting for their colony. Even though it had cost her her life, she'd fought; he could do no less. His honor demanded it.

No matter how much the thought terrified him. Leaving behind everything he'd ever known to make his way down a new, uncertain path…

But take control he had; he'd had no other choice, no recourse. Honor demanded that he take control of his life, of his future, and, first off and most prominently, of Shenlong. He had planned to honor Meiran by following in her footsteps; he would use the Gundam to free his people and bring back peace. He'd started fighting for the colonies, and eventually met the other four pilots…

Including one Duo Maxwell. Self-proclaimed God of Death, Braided Menace to Society, and all-around nuisance.

As far as Wufei could tell, aside from gender, the only things Meiran and Duo didn't have in common was that he had never been attracted to her.

Duo was just as stubborn, just as much of a fighter…just as determined to get him to live his life instead of just going through the motions. Duo refused to let Wufei lose himself in his books, in his meditations; the braided boy was determined to get him to interact with the world at large – or at the very least, the other Gundam pilots. He'd had a hard mission ahead of him, but that had never deterred him from his course.

If nothing else, Wufei could admire the man's persistence. Especially considering how difficult it was for Duo to get him to open up. In order to give himself the power he needed to fight, Wufei had had to exert a fierce hold over his emotions; he hadn't become dead inside, but it was as if his heart had stopped beating, fallen into a sort of emotional stasis. Duo had had to battle his way through a multitude of shields to uncover his long-buried feelings.

It hadn't been as hard to rein in his emotions as one would have thought; he'd always seen excess emotion as a weakness – he wasn't as bad as Yuy, he knew that you had to fight for something, instead of just fighting blindly; but, too, getting caught up in one's rage could be worse than freezing out all feelings – and he'd hated it when Maxwell had seemed capable of making him express himself without his consent. It had taken Deathscythe's pilot over half the length of the Eve Wars to even weaken his emotional shields; almost the entirety of the other half had been spent breaking them completely, coaxing Wufei into trying out a romantic relationship with him.

It had taken him completely by surprise. It seemed as if one minute the baka was just an irritant, and next…

Duo Maxwell had been the trigger that had started his heart beating once more.

No one else – not even Meiran – had ever held such power over him. Over his heart. For so long, honor, duty, and justice had been his only lifeline…

And Duo had eradicated his need for such a crutch, when he could so easily have replaced it, making Wufei dependent on him. Instead, they worked together in tandem, hearts beating in sync.

Wufei couldn't fight it; couldn't fight Duo. He didn't want to fight him. Just like the ocean couldn't fight the moon, the tides of his emotions couldn't be held back once Duo had unleashed them.

He was drowning. Drowning under waves of love. That's what it felt like when he and Duo were together. Like he was drowning…swept away on a current of love, passion, desire…and at the very core of all those romantic emotions…friendship. Every breath he took brought him the taste of Duo's sweet scent; that enigmatic combination of cordite, gunpowder and, strangely, cinnamon.

Held in his arms, Wufei felt safe for the first time in forever.

At one point in time, he couldn't imagine his life as anything other than following the wishes and dictates of the clan elders. Then he couldn't imagine not being a Gundam pilot and fighting for justice.

Now…he couldn't imagine his life without Duo Maxwell's love.

He couldn't help it. And what was more, he didn't want to. He never thought he'd feel this way about anyone, let alone another boy, but Maxwell defied description. No matter how much he meditated on the man, Wufei still couldn't understand him.

Duo had taken him into his heart, and in so doing caused Wufei's own heart to start beating again, when for so long it had been frozen under his rigid self-control.

It had been so freeing to give up control to someone else…someone he could trust.

It had also been the most frightening thing he had ever experienced, short of when he'd been with Meiran as she died.

But a part of him…liked that. The part that thought he could be quite content – no, more than content – to spend the rest of his life trying to figure the braided baka out. It was a heady, almost frightening feeling, being so wrapped up in someone. Having them wrapped up in you.

Being in love.

But…he wouldn't be afraid. Because even as he drowned in Duo's mere presence…

They both drowned in love. Forever.

Though even forever didn't seem like long enough.